RT scissor lifts for the modern access sector
By Euan Youdale09 September 2022
Greater capacity and the inevitable move to electric power denotes the modern RT scissor lift sector.
The rough terrain scissor lift market is a growing one, particularly in Europe, and the products are being updated to suit the needs of modern workplaces.
That doesn’t just mean a gradual move to electrification, as there are increasing demands on capacity and urbanisation continues to drive the trend for higher lifting capacity models.
As JLG puts it, “With building footprints getting narrower and taller, customers are looking for equipment that offers greater lift height.
Users also want to bring more materials and people to the work area, which drives the need for higher capacity.”
The growing demand for electric equipment
As mentioned, Europe is a big market for RT scissor lifts. It’s also a market, says Christian Dube, associate product manager at Genie, that is highly focused on electrification.
“That, combined with the fact that we’re seeing a trend toward electrifying scissor lifts in general, leads to the natural conclusion that we’ll likely see RT scissor lifts move that way.”
“Of course, there are challenges to solve before full electrification will make sense for all rough terrain scissors, especially since these machines are often on the jobsite early in construction, before electricity is readily available.”
ELS Lift has started what it describes as a green transformation across its product categories.
It continues the Turkey-based manufacturer’s initiative that started with the e-series in 2020 with the EL12-e slab scissor being introduced to users in the last quarter of 2021.
In 2023 the company will begin production of its first all-electric rough terrain model, the RT12-E.
Apart from the inclusion of direct electric drive, ELS has made improvements to hydraulics to reduce leakage problems by 80% - 90%. The hydraulic elements left on the machine are now for steering and wheels.
The unit also features maintenance-free batteries, less battery consumption while moving and ease of maintenance.
The expansion of electric access equipment
ELS said the latest trends in technology, combined with the climate crisis and intense demands for zero emission equipment from the market, led the to the new model.
“These measures and emission criteria implemented by governments have become a priority in the design of all of ELS Lift’s ongoing studies.”
The company added that the RT12-E is designed to be efficient indoors and outdoors, offering a high-capacity basket with a wider platform compared to industry norms.
Upon its launch there will also be a fast-charging feature and stabilization offered as standard.
An example of Sinoboom’s latest RT offerings come with the electric 1323RE (4389RE) and 1623RE (5389RE) lifts, which also offer 1-click leveling and up to 680kg lifting capacity.
In terms of the platform, the 15.1 and 18.2m working height units offer a spacious, two-way extendable platform.
The integrated pipeline assembly makes troubleshooting convenient and the double-door design makes for easy maintenance.
There is also wide-angle tilt, one-click outrigger leveling and a strong off-road performance with both units powered by a pair of 24 V (480Ah) batteries with up to 50% gradeability, and stable movement over potholed ground.
They provide four wheel drive and two wheel steer and a gradeability of 50% for the 1323RE and 40% for the higher working height 1623RE.
The overall weight of the machines comes to 8,500kg and 9,250kg, respectively.
Large capcity RT Scissor lifts
Airo has also been expanding into full electric and larger capacity, with the debut of its XL20RTE unit in October 2021.
The XL20RTE (pictured above) offers a working height of 20m and has a double deck platform that can extend up to 7.4m, with a maximum load capacity of 700kg for up to six people. The ‘superdeck’ offers two manual 1.5m deck extensions.
Its two maintenance-free AC electric motors, one for lifting and the other for driving, and its 48V (455Ah) battery make the XL20RTE operates in full electric mode for reduced fuel consumption and low noise pollution, and can be driven while at its full working height.
With automatic levelling and manually adjustable stabilisers, the scissor lift model includes 4-wheel-drive with an axle drive system that helps “ensure excellent grip even on rough terrain”.
Airo also points to the model’s grid recharge 50A battery charger, using a normal household electric line.
JLG fully redesigned its rough terrain scissor line in 2020, with two new models added in late 2021.
As part of this redesign, the company took a look at what customers were asking for, and due to an increase in demand for electric-powered lifts, made the decision to offer both an engine-powered RT and electric-powered RT (ERT) model in each size class.
The updated eight unit RT/ERT line from the RT2669 to the ERT4769, offering four units each of diesel and electric units, includes full drive at height capabilities, allowing the operator to continue working at a fixed height.
“This feature comes in handy when running cables inside or outside along the length of a building or when changing light bulbs across individual lighting units in a parking lot,” says JLG.
“Prior to this capability, the operator would need to ascend, then descend each time they needed to move the lift to the next work area.”
JLG’s RT/ERT features the industry’s first control box with an LCD display with LiftSense as standard, which shows operators the maximum work height you can achieve before you elevate based on side-to-side and front-to-back tilt, as well as the current capacity in the platform.
Advanced scissor lift features
Another key new feature on JLG’s RT line is QuikLevel Advanced. This feature automatically levels the machine on side slopes up to 4.5 degrees, while still allowing driving at full height under certain conditions.
The ERT line, offers regenerative braking, which actively recharges the battery, and the new Clean-Guard leak containment option, which provides an added safeguard against hydraulic leaks to protect sensitive flooring.
“We also expect to see electric models continue to gain popularity as battery technology advances and environmental considerations become more and more stringent,” says JLG.
For example, when JLG introduced the first all-electric slab scissor lift model, the AE1932 DaVinci lift in 2021, it was engineered with zero hydraulics and powered by a single lithium-ion battery that recharges as the lift descends to lengthen the operational time between charges.
The company added, “We believe some of these same market-leading technologies will grow in popularity and that over time customers will request they be included in the RT/ERT models.”
Another advantage of the RT/ERT scissors 28% more working area than competitive models with class-leading capacities, says the company.
JLG’s models are als designed with zero-platform offset to minimize the distance users must reach to access the work area.
Environmentally friendly scissor lifts
Dingli has also upgraded its range of rough terrain scissors lifts, with the launch of electric versions of its 18m and 15m diesel originals.
The new electric JCPT1823DCB scissor is the counterpart to Dingli’s diesel-powered JCPT1823RTB model, and the electric CPT1523DCB scissor lift is the electric version of the JCPT1523RTB.
Like their diesel sister models, both of the new electric scissors are equipped with a 3.98m x 1.83m working platform, that can be further extended at either end by 1.42 and 1.16m, to accommodate additional workers.
The electric JCPT1823DCB and JCPT1523DCB also offer the same four-wheel drive and gradeability capabilities, as well as Dingli’s one-button levelling function.
According to the manufacturer, the automatic levelling feature ensures the safety and stability of the platforms, which have a maximum load capacity of 680kg.
The launch of the models came shortly after the manufacturer released its new diesel-driven JCPT3225RT and electric JCPT3225DC scissors, and is evidence of the company’s continuing efforts to electrify its product portfolio as quickly as possible.
Haulotte was the first manufacturer to dip its does into the electric RT scissor lift segment.
Launched in November 2020 as part of the French manufacturer’s green energy Pulseo Generation range was the 13m working height HS15 E and 16m HS18 E RT scissors offering the same drive performance as diesel-engine machines.
Both units lifts have a 750kg load capacity for up to four persons, and a 45% gradeability, while the oscillating axle and 4-wheel drive deliver optimised power distribution.
The large work platform extends to 7.4m when both extensions are deployed.
In low grip situations, the manual differential wheel lock provides extra traction and the machines can be deployed on slopes of up to 5 degrees with outriggers.
Range extender engines for access equipment
The difference with the HS 15 E and HS 18 E is the addition of a 5.5kW range extender combustion engine.
The removable and interchangeable range extender rapidly recharge the batteries while the machine remains fully operational.
The idea of using a range extender engine is starting to become more common, for example in Europe where issues like a lack of charging capabilities is playing a role in hindering the growth of electric MEWPs.
As Haulotte points out, “Rental companies have more customers requesting environmentally friendly equipment.
“Indeed, contractors are increasingly implementing programmes to reduce noise or emissions.”
Skyjack introduced its first electric rough terrain scissor lift more than eight years ago. The SJ6832 RTE balances the performance of diesel-powered machines to work in more diverse environments.
Demand for diesel powered access equipment
As Skyjack comments, “Demand for this model and similar machines has grown and will continue to grow and eventually outpace diesel demand in some geographic locations.”
While Skyjack’s recent launches have not been pure electric models they do strive the meet the needs of the modern RT customer.
The SJ9233 RT, SJ9243 RT and 9253 models replaced the previous line of full-size rough terrain models, while the SJ9664 RT is a new addition to the line-up.
It represents the need for increased platform heights and platform capacities and includes Smartorque; a smaller engine that provides enough horsepower and torque for typical applications, yet avoids the use of emission controlling components.
The company points out that RT scissors have platform size and capacity, while boom lifts have the height.
“The SJ9664 RT helps address this gap by providing a rough terrain scissor lift that can lift more and lift higher and is at a competitive price, unlike similar machines that are viewed as niche premium products.”
US-based GMG demonstrates that the large is capable of full electric.
With a 33ft, 46ft and an impressive 60ft platform height the 94-ERT electric powered scissor lift series, incorporating the 3394-ERT Tunnel, 4694-ERT and 6094-ERT addresses the complaints of large rough terrain scissors on the jobsite, says the manufacturer.
With a GVW of up to 20,000 pounds, GMG’s I-Power management system has addresses the duty cycle challenges of such a large electric unit.
Starting with the proven 94-RT diesel models as the steel structure, and incorporating four mas 3-phase 3.3kw electric drive motors, coupled to torque multipliers and a 9.5kw motor/generator, then links the management of this system to GMG’s I-Power.
Added features include the ReGen power back to the batteries, High Torque power take off, Variable Steering and Ramp Control.
The compact S2755RTE is part of Snorkel’s lithium battery powered range.
With a working height of 10.1m and maximum platform capacity of 300kg, the ultra-compact and narrow electric RT scissor has a width of 1.45m with 1.2m deck extension length, leading to a workspace up to 3.93m.
The S2755RTE can climb gradients up to 35% and automatically level up to 6° from front to rear and up to 10° from side to side. Hydraulic outriggers as standard allows for operation on uneven ground.
Ultra-compact with a low weight of 2,750kg allows this model to work well in confined spaces.
Offering a battery-powered alternative to diesel equipment, the Snorkel S2755RTE is equipped lithium-ion batteries.
The Kubota D-902 diesel engine of the S2755RT rough terrain scissor lift is replaced with an electric motor, lithium-ion battery and controller.
Manufactured by Hyperdrive Innovation, with lithium cells produced by Nissan, each battery is 5.75kWh (333AH) and delivers a long duty cycle.